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Pest Management Grower vigilance is still needed


Two insect pests— BrownMarmorated Stink Bug and SpottedWing Drosophila—continue to be amajor concern. By Judie Steeves


I


nexorably, the province’s new invasive agricultural pest, the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug, (BMSB) is moving into agricultural areas from residential backyards. Although none has yet been discovered in agricultural operations in the Okanagan, in the Lower Mainland there have been some caught on a farm in Langley and around the Sumas- Huntingdon border area.


Tracy Hueppelsheuser, entomologist with the agriculture ministry’s plant health unit in Abbotsford, says BMSB now appears to be established at low levels from Vancouver to


Chilliwack/Rosedale, in urban areas in the Lower Mainland. In the Okanagan, ministry entomologist Susanna Acheampong says six were caught along the Okanagan River channel at Penticton last year, in an area where they were first found in the Okanagan in 2016. A number were found last year in downtown Kelowna as well, but none on agricultural sites.


Traps have been set up throughout the Okanagan and Similkameen in both residential and agricultural areas this spring in order to monitor movement of the bug, she said, but none had yet been caught in May, except in downtown Kelowna.


BMSB is considered a very serious pest of agriculture as it feeds on more than 100 different plant species including tree fruits, grapes, berries, vegetables and ornamental plants. Native to China, Japan and Korea, it was first noticed in Pennsylvania in the late 1990s and was established there by 2001, likely from Beijing, China. Populations grew exponentially. Females can lay 100 eggs a season and the females can mature within two weeks under favourable conditions. It overwinters in wooded areas, under tree bark and in leaf litter as well as


20 British Columbia FRUIT GROWER • Summer 2018


Look-alikes, but not the same. Insects of the Brochymena genus, also known as Rough Stink Bugs (right) are often confused with Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs (left).


invading structures by the hordes. It has grown to infest more than 41 U.S. states as well as Canada. Ontario has been dealing with it since the first detection in 2012.


It has few natural enemies here and damages plants by sucking plant juices. Where its saliva enters, enzyme damage is caused, resulting in brown spots and a


mealy consistency in apples; destruction of grape berries and taint in wine; and pears and peaches are also damaged. All damage results in produce that is not marketable. The bugs are marbled dark brown, about 13 to18 mm in length, and feature a


shield-shaped shell. They have two white bands on


each antennae. The nymph stage ranges from 2.4 to 12 mm long, without fully- developed wings. At first they are bright orange to red, then black and tick-like, while the last stages are pear-shaped, brown with white marking on the abdomen and legs and white bands on the last two antennal segments. Growers are asked to watch for any


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